There is a graphics standard in DOS on IBM Computers called "ANSI", which was implemented in the early 1980's. It allowed a certain set of escape sequences to be included in files that would produce color and cursor movement on the screen, and was used to great benefit on DOS machines for some time, especially some BBS menus and welcome screens. Towards the early 1990's, an entire ANSI "Scene" rose up where people tried to outdo each other producing elaborate ANSI images and files.

What's the story of ANSI? What's its roots? Where did it go?

Additional Notes:  
The name ANSI is misleading.

ANSI simply stands for "American National Standards Institute", a non-profit body that was founded in 1918, which was meant to be a place where American industries could agree on standards which would then be used by all companies without variation. The theory was (and is) that by having all these disparate groups agree on, say, the size of a washer, or the width of a rail, then there's less infighting over forcing the customer base/world to have to choose a specific company's standard, and the focus is on making the American industry as a whole the dominant factor in domestic and foreign markets.

The ANSI home page is at

What we think of as "ANSI" is in fact ANSI standard X3.64-1979 (also known as ISO standard DP-6429 and ECMA-35) "Additional Controls for Use with the American National Standard Code for Information Interchange".

I have one site which claims the standard for ANSI was withdrawn on October 11, 1994.

ansimusic.txt (6.4K) The Technical Details of ANSI Music
ansisys.txt (14K) Reprint of the Manual Page for ANSI.SYS in MSDOS 5.0 (50K) BBS Ansi Music Tutorial 4.1 Comprehensive step-by-step tutorial shows how to add music to your BBS and messages, includes sample music files for each step. (1994)
ansicode.txt (41K) Excellent Summary of ANSI standards for ASCII terminals by Joe Smith (1984)
byte.txt (16K) Escellent overview of ANSI for Byte Magazine by Richard S. Shuford (1984)
bansi.txt (28K) Description of ANSI by Paul Wheaton of Bananacom (1999 Revision)
banana.txt (27K) Description of ANSI by Paul Wheaton of BananaCom
gloss.htm (22K) An excellent overview of the history of ANSI, from Kermit Systems